As Stock Hits New High, eBay Says It’s Raising $3B in Debt Offering, but Not Shopping

EBay’s stock hit a new high for the year, climbing 12 percent this week after reporting strong second-quarter results.

On Friday, the stock increased 2 percent, or 90 cents, to close at $44.85 a share — in sharp contrast to today’s general market losses.

In addition, only a day after announcing positive earnings, the e-commerce and online payments giant disclosed it was raising $3 billion in a public debt offering.

The timing behind the huge raise was to take advantage of today’s low interest rates, eBay said, and not because it had plans to make any large acquisitions.

But that’s hard to fathom given that over the past year, it purchased GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion and PayPal acquired Zong for $240 million, among many other acquisitions. In fact, just this week, it purchased for an undisclosed sum.

“We have been evaluating sources of additional liquidity even though we believe that our strong balance sheet and free cash flow will allow us to finance our organic needs and stock repurchase programs,” said eBay’s CFO Bob Swan. “We also do not anticipate meaningful mergers and acquisitions activity in the near term.”

Because of the debt, eBay was forced to revise its outlook for the third quarter and full year a day after reaffirming it on Wednesday.

The company said because of higher interest expense, it is now expecting 2012 earnings per share in the range of $1.89 to $1.94, and non-GAAP earnings of $2.28 to $2.33. Previously, it was expecting GAAP earnings per share of $1.91 to $1.96.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work